Lowestoft man jailed for four years over child-sex offences in Bungay

A LOWESTOFT man has been jailed for four years for sexually assaulting two schoolgirls.

Stephen Bolton was in his 20s when he had a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl in 2001 and was in his his 30s when he indecently touched a 13-year-old girl in 2010, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Bolton, 36, admitted two offences of sexual activity with a child in 2010 and was found guilty after a trial of four other offences – two of indecency with a child and two of indecent assault, dating back to 2001.

He was cleared of an offence of sexual intercourse with a girl under 13 after the prosecution offered no evidence against him.

Sentencing Bolton, formerly of Bungay, but now living in May Road, Lowestoft, Judge David Goodin said the offences were so serious he had to pass an immediate prison sentence.

He said the first victim, who was only 12, had been 'impressed, dazzled and flattered' by the attention Bolton had given her.

In addition to jailing Bolton for four years on Wednesday, Judge Goodin ordered him to sign on the sex offenders' register indefinitely and made him the subject of a sexual offences prevention order restricting his future contact with girls under the age of 16, except for his own daughters.

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The court heard that Bolton had invited the 12-year-old girl to his flat in Albion Road, Bungay in 2001 and had kissed and touched her intimately on three occasions between April and June.

The 13-year-old girl had met Bolton at a barbeque in 2010 and they had communicated through Facebook before meeting on two occasions during which they had kissed and cuddled.

When Bolton was interviewed about his contact with the 13-year-old girl, he said he had flirted with her on Facebook and had 'forgotten who he was talking to.'

He said that when he met up with the girl he had told her, 'This can't be happening. I shouldn't be doing this.'

Andrew Thompson, for Bolton, said his client still claimed he was innocent of the offences in relation to the 12-year-old girl in 2001.

He said Bolton had nott threatened the girl and there had been no similar offending for nine years until the offences in 2010.

Mr Thompson said Bolton had been uncertain of the 13-year-old girl's age and had expressed remorse for the two offences involving her. 'He didn't know she was 13 but did accept he knew she was under sixteen,' said Mr Thompson.

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